Trekked again on Friday after quite a while. Probably 3-4 months since our last trek to Savandurga. This time around, we had 2 new members, and the 6 of us headed out to what had been a bit of a jinxed place in our trekking itineraries – Skandagiri. This was, methinks, the 5th time we had planned it, and thankfully, we finally did make it there. Left at 6 from home, meeting up at Vasant’s place in CV Raman Nagar, before moving on from there. Half-way into our journey, it started raining, slowly at first, but soon descending into very heavy showers. It seemed like the jinx had struck again, but cursing our luck we continued on our way and reached Skandagiri around about 8:45. And just as we reached, the clouds cleared, and the rains stopped.
After taking a breather & thinking about our course of action, we decided to risk the trek, and were off on our way to the top. One third the way up, it started to rain again, and by the time we were half way up it was pouring cats and dogs. I was already winded by then – the worst I had felt in all the treks we had been to, and Nitin & Vasant had to slow down to help me keep up with them.
The other three had already disappeared by then into the heavy fog above. My only consolation was that another group which had started around the same time as us seemed to be in an even worse shape than I was. Thought about quitting a couple of times, but somehow pushed on, stopping quite a few times to catch my breath. By then, it was so foggy, we could hardly see a damn thing.
Huffing & puffing, finally made it to the top, and was pleasantly surprised to see it was just 10:45. It had seemed a lot longer than that, and to have completed the climb in an hour and 45 minutes wasn’t all that bad after all. Sumeet, Ashwin & Bharat had reached 10-15 minutes before, and seemed to be taking in the non-existent view. Must have been 15 degrees or maybe even lower. At least that’s how cold it felt given that all of us were soaked to the bone, with the heavy wind making it worse still. After taking the mandatory group snap, we immediately took cover in the temple – is there a hill without one? Dried ourselves out a wee bit, snacked & chatted a while, before heading down again. Interestingly, as in Savandurga, we had a dog for company all the way up. Gentle friend and guide, though I am not so sure about the philosopher bit.
The trip downhill took a shade less than an hour, and I was just thanking my stars that the Skandagiri terrain was relatively muddy & not like Savandurga, which had been sheer rock, and in many places very smooth rock at that. If it had rained so in Savandurga, we would have been stuck on the top for a long time!! Despite the cooperative terrain :), Ashwin managed to fall 5-6 times, thankfully, without hurting himself. The rains stopped by the time we were three quarters the way down, and we were at base camp by 12:30 or so. With the rain pouring down, didn’t have the chance to do much photography, but Bharat with his S5 still managed to get a few pretty good snaps to document the trip.
Lunched at a dhaba on the way, and was back home just before 5. A slightly longer than usual, a more tiring than usual trip, but the icing on the cake was none of us fell sick over the weekend; in fact I didn’t even get nausea which had been the case in my last 2 treks.
Excellent outing, all said and done. God knows when my next trek will happen, but I think the rest of the folks will soon be trekking more frequently than before.